WHEN Jesus heard that John was put in prison, he left Judea and went into Galilee. Following the great road leading northward from Jerusalem, he would necessarily pass by the city of Sychar. Sychar was anciently called Shechem, and is now known by the name of Nablous. It is situated in the valley between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, twenty-eight miles, in a straight line, from Jerusalem, and about thirty-four from Nazareth.

A mile or two east of the city, the valley of Shechem is crossed by another valley, running north and south. The road leading through this valley must have been the one that Jesus and his disciples followed. Near the place where the two valleys meet, and just at the foot of Mount Gerizim, is the well, which Jacob dug in the parcel of ground which he bought of Hamor, the father of Shechem. When they came to this place, Jesus, being weary, sat down upon the curbing of the well, and waited for his disciples to go to the city and buy food; for it was about noon. While he was sitting here, a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. When he asked her to give him a drink, she expressed her surprise that a Jew should ask a favor of a Samaritan; for ever since the building of the temple by Zerubbabel, there had been such bitterness of feeling that the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans. But Christ came to save all men, without respect to birth or nation, and so proceeded to make himself known as the Saviour of the world. He said, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." The living water here referred to must be the Spirit of God dwelling in the heart and prompting to that faith and obedience which will secure eternal life.  Isaiah 44:3.  But the woman did not seem to understand him; for she said, "Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing: up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband; for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, “I that speak unto thee am he."